Independent hard rock band La Armada premiered its new single and its companion video this week.
The band debuted its new single, ‘All We Know‘ and its companion video Thursday. The single is featured in the band’s forthcoming album, Anti-Colonial Vol. 2, which is scheduled for release later this year. The band will release its new record through its own label, Mal De Ojo Records in the United States, Thousand Islands Records in Canada, and Lockjaw Records in the United Kingdom and Europe. An exact release date for the album is under consideration.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘All We Know’ is a heavy composition. It presents punk elements alongside a touch of Rage Against the Machine influence for a unique overall sound and stylistic approach.
The lyrical theme featured alongside the song’s heavy musical arrangement is heavy in its own right, according to a prepared statement released by the band.
“’All We Know’ is a groove-filled anthem written from within the eye of a hurricane,’ the statement reads. “Our singer came up with the lyrics after having lived through Hurricanes Irma and Maria, devastating earthquakes, and the pandemic, all from his native town in Yauco, Puerto Rico. It’s an angsty first hand account of the indifference and corruption that surrounded the government response to these disasters and a reminder that at the end of the day, this is how it’s always been, and that one way or another the people will always get by.”
More information on ‘All We Know’ is available along with all of La Armada’s latest news at:
Independent rock and roll act Dirty Honey will release Friday, what is one of 2021’s most welcome and best new pure guitar rock albums in its self-titled album. The eight-song record has been the subject of a lot of hype since 2019, and it can be said that the album lives up to that hype and then some. That is evidenced clearly through the 28-minute album’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes, all of which are fully accessible. One of the songs featured in the album that serves to support the noted statements comes halfway through its nearly half-hour run time in the form of ‘Hold My Hand.’ This song will be discussed shortly. ‘Another Last Time,’ which closes out the album, is another example of how its musical and lyrical content comes together to make the album so engaging and entertaining. It will be discussed a little later. ‘The Wire,’ one of the album’s early entries, is yet another example of the importance of the album’s collective content. It will also be discussed later. All three songs examined here are important in their own way to the success of Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes Dirty Honey a work that every guitar rock purist will enjoy.
Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album is a strong start for the up-and-coming neo-classic rock quartet. The album’s success comes collectively through its musical arrangements and lyrical themes. One of the songs that most notably exemplifies the noted statements comes halfway through the album in the form of ‘Take My Hand.’ The musical arrangement in this song is the polar opposite of that in the album’s lead single, ‘California Dreamin’’. Not to get too far off topic, but ‘California Dreamin’ is not to be confused with the song made popular by The Mamas and the Papas way back in 1965. rather, this song is its own, original composition. Getting back on the matter at hand, the musical arrangement featured in ‘Take My Hand’ immediately lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Small Town Titans and Audioslave. The Audioslave comparison should come as no surprise considering that Dirty Honey worked with producer Nick DiDia on this album. DiDia worked with Tom Morello and his band mates in Rage Against the Machine (whose members eventually formed Audioslave after a split with front man Zach De La Rocha in 2000). Clearly DiDia’s own creative influence came into play here, considering that history. The guitar arrangement, the drums and bass all immediately mirror works from Audioslave. Front man Marc LaBelle’s vocal fiery vocal delivery style and sound is itself even comparable to that of the late, great Chris Cornell here, making the Audioslave comparison even clearer. For all that the song’s musical arrangement does to make it stand out, it is just a portion of what makes the song (and album) work. The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical content also plays into that success.
The lyrical content featured in ‘Take My Hand’ stands out because of the discussion that it will generate. It would seem that, in listening closely, the song’s lyrical content presents a message about letting go of the past and just moving forward in life. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse, in which Labelle sings, “No time to change/The mistakes you made/And if I carry the weight/It’s the price I have to pay/But I wanted all your love/And I needed all your love…take my hand/You’ll understand/I’m just a sinner, too/There’s no way out/We’re headed south/I’m lonely just like you.” This alone would seem to hint at someone telling another person that he/she knows about the other person’s past but that said person needs to just leave the past in the past because things in the present are what they are and that other person is not alone in his/her situation. The seeming message continues in the song’s second verse, with LaBelle singing, “Hide in the light/Stories that you told/Paying no mind/To your wicked ways of old/When I wanted all your love/And I needed all your love/It drove me out of my mind/Take my hand/You might understand/I’m just a sinner, too/There’s no way out/We’re headed south/Don’t play me for a fool.” Again, here is that seeming message of just letting go of the past, not letting it weigh one down mentally and emotionally. LaBelle does not just come out and make clear if the overall lyrical theme has anything to do with perhaps a couple in a relationship or if this is just a general statement made from one person to another. Regardless, the seeming message is relatively clear. When it is paired with the song’s infectious musical arrangement, the whole makes the song a clear example of what makes the album’s musical and lyrical content so important to the album’s overall presentation. ‘Another Last Time,’ which closes out the album, is another example of what makes Dirty Honey a successful presentation.
‘Another Last Time’ presents a musical arrangement that will itself find quite the interesting comparison. The song’s opening bars lend themselves to comparison to Pearl Jam’s hit 1992 b-side, ‘Yellow Ledbetter.’ That comparison is brief, but is there. From there, listeners will notice a sound and stylistic approach that is more akin to works from the Black Crowes, what with the combined use of the keyboard, choral type backing vocals, guitar, and drums. It is a work that will appeal to any southern rock fan. The tone in the song’s arrangement, that sense of melancholy, does well to help illustrate the familiar story featured in the song’s lyrical content. The story in question comes across as being that familiar tale of the breakup of a romantic relationship, with the “last time” being metaphorical language for the one last go-round.
The breakup story is made even more as LaBelle’s subject adds in the song’s chorus, “Tell me what it takes/’Til you find your way back to me/And we’ll say/One last time/Another last time/Another go round and we say goodbye.” That the song’s subject compares the woman in question to whiskey and rain, stating, “Lord knows when I’ll see her face again” in the song’s lead verse adds even more to the clear story. He even notes that the woman has “Got me wondering/Why I’m holding on to this,” making even clearer, the noted statement. This is a mournful, melancholy song about a relationship’s end, thus the lyrical and musical content. The thing is that it is more of an introspective and retrospective look at that relationship. This is something to which many listeners will relate, proving its accessibility. When it is paired with the song’s equally accessible southern rock stylistic approach and sound, the whole continues to prove the role of the musical and lyrical content featured in Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album. It is just one more example of that importance, too. ‘The Wire,’ which comes early in the album’s body, is one more example of what makes the album’s collective content so important to its success.
‘The Wire’ presents a musical arrangement that is one of the most unique of the album’s compositions. The song’s arrangement immediately exhibits influences from the likes of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and even the aforementioned Black Crowes. Even with so many distinctly different influences presented here, the band still manages to craft a song that is unique and that boasts its own identity. The energy exuded by the song’s musical arrangement is important to examine because it helps to translate the message presented through the song’s lyrical content.
The message presented in ‘The Wire’ is that of a man who knows he needs to get away from a woman who is not good for him, but he can’t help but keep going back to her. That is evidenced as LaBelle sings, “This wasn’t part of the plan/I never wanted to see you again/I’m a fool for you/And those things that you do/Can’t get this picture of you out of my head…I’ve been walking the wire/And I’ve been walking your wire for too long…turn and walk away.” This is just the song’s lead verse, but it makes relatively clear the noted inference. The song’s second verse continues the statement as LaBelle sings, “Thought it would get better with time/But your kisses, baby/They still blow my mind/I’m a fool for you/And those things that you do/The way that you love me is such a crime.” That last statement about the mistreatment in the relationship is the most telling. Again, this is someone who knows he is in a bad situation, but can’t bring himself to just walk away. He keeps getting drawn back into the toxic situation because “your kisses, baby/They still blow my mind.” While the song is sung from the vantage point of a man, women could relate just as much. That is because they get into the same situations. To that end, the song’s lyrical theme proves its accessibility even more. The energy exhibited through the song’s musical arrangement does well to help illustrate the subject’s mixed mindset. Together, the two elements join to make this song another standout addition to Dirty Honey, showing once more why the record’s musical and lyrical content collectively makes it such a successful offering. When this song and the other examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole leaves no question about the engagement and entertainment that the record offers. All things considered, it leaves no doubt that the album is one of this year’s top new independent and rock albums.
Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album is a strong first offering from the up-and-coming rock band. It succeeds as much as it does because of its combined musical and lyrical content. The record’s musical arrangements exhibit influences of some of the most talented and respected bands past and present throughout. Even with those influences noted, the arrangements still boast their own unique, engaging, and enjoyable identities. They are fully accessible and enjoyable compositions from one to the next. The lyrical themes featured in the album’s featured songs are just as engaging and accessible as their musical counterparts. All three of the songs examined here more than support the noted statements. When they are considered alongside the rest of the songs featured in this record, the whole makes Dirty Honey a standout addition to this year’s field of new rock and independent albums. Dirty Honey is scheduled for release Friday through Dirt Records.
More information on Dirty Honey’s new record is available along with the group’s latest news at:
An organization aimed at helping tour crews impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will continue its efforts with another special event.
Roadie Relief is scheduled to hold its second music memorabilia April 14. The auction will feature items, such as a cymbal used at Rage Against The Machine’s last show and signed by the band’s drummer Brad Wilk; a signed skate deck and posters from 311, and Gibson Les Paul guitar used by Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X for sale. The full list of items that will go up for auction is available to see complete with pictures here.
KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer said in a prepared statement, road crews are crucial for the live music industry.
“Before I became the lead guitarist for KISS almost 20 years ago, I worked behind the scenes with Kiss on and off the road,” he said. “I have a unique perspective and appreciation for how hard our crew works day in and day out. I’ve been there.”
311 bassist Aaron “PNUT” Wills offered his own warm words about the work that roadies do for the live music industry.
“I’ve been a touring musician for over twenty eight years and roadies have made it possibly at every step of my career,” said Wills. “Roadies are free spirits who solve a myriad of problems daily while out on the road. I donated cause I love talking to awesome people and I thought it could motivate our audience to dig deep and help our industry get back on its feet.”
Independent rapper Hyro The Hero debuted his latest single this week along with its companion video.
The rapper (a.k.a. Hyron Louis Fenton, Jr.) debuted his new single ‘Retaliation Generation’ and its lyric video Friday. The song features guest vocals by Ice Nine Kills front man Spencer Charnas. Charnas’ familiar vocal delivery style compliments Fenton’s own familiar flow as he raps about what today’s youth is going through. Meanwhile, the familiar Rage Against The Machine style musical approach for which Fenton has come to be known joins the noted vocal performances to make the song complete.
The lyric video for ‘Retaliation Generation’ places the song’s lyrics over a post apocalyptic backdrop, complete with images of zombies, a perfect fit for Charnas. That is because Charnas and his Ice Nine Kills band mates are known for crafting songs based off of horror flicks. In the case of this song though, the imagery is used to help translate the message in the song’s lyrical content.
Fenton talked about the song’s lyrical content during a recent interview.
“I think this song captures the emotion of what this generation feels in this crazy time we are living in,” he added. “It’s full on attack mode right from the beginning it’s such a great feeling when an artist like Spencer helps take a song like this to the next level. I want anybody who listens to this song to be a voice. Stand up for what you believe in.”
Additionally, Fenton talked about the song’s creation, including the addition of Charnas’ guest vocals.
“‘Retaliation Generation’ is a great song that represents the style of music I have come to be known for,” said Fenton. “Having Spencer sing the hook and Matt Good on production blasted this track into ‘anthem’ territory.”
Charnas added to Fenton’s thoughts with his own comments.
“I think with everything going on in the last several years, our generation is holding people accountable,” he said. “It’s a movement in terms of a ‘You ain’t getting away with this s*** anymore.’ It’s a battle cry. I think it’s got such a cool overall message of not letting trials and tribulations of the world get you down. I think people can be their own worst enemy, and this is a song of empowerment. You can fight for what you believe in. It’s up to you to put up or shut up.”
Hyro The Hero’s collaboration is just his latest big name team-up. He most recently worked with Hellyeah and former Mudvayne front man Chad Gray on the inspirational song ‘Fight.’ Prior to that song’s release, he worked with Disturbed front man David Draiman on the song ‘We Believe.’
In other news, Hyro The Hero will host a livestream even at 4 p.m. ET today through his official Twitch channel. Charnas, AJ Channer (Fire From the Gods), and Ben Bruce (Asking Alexandria) will also make appearances during the livestream show. Fans can RSVP here. Additionally, Hyro The Hero will be a guest for Fire From the Gods’ own livestream even Jan. 30. Tickets for that event are available here.
More information on Hyro The Hero’s new single, video, and livestreatm is available online now along with all of Hyro The Hero’s latest news and more at:
Tom Morello has partnered with System of a Down front man Serj Tankien for a classic rock cover.
The guitarist, known for his work with Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage, teamed with Tankian to debut a cover of Gang of Four’s ‘Natural’s Not In It.’ The single, available here, is featured in the forthcoming compilation record The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, which is scheduled for release in May. Pre-orders for the compilation are open.
Tankian and Morello stay true to the source material with their rendition of the classic tune. The duo just built on the original and gave it more of a punch without letting their own styles and influences overtake the work.
Gill’s widow Catherine Mayer gave her approval to the work in a prepared statement, noting that Gill himself approved of the work prior to his passing last year from complications that stemmed from COVID-19.
“Andy loved what Tom and Serj did with this song, the fierceness of their attack and the jet-engine scream of feedback”said Mayer. “This was a track Andy always enjoyed performing. He said their version brilliantly captured all the explosive, danceable energy ‘Natural’s Not In It’ can create in live performance.”
Morello spoke warmly of Gill and Gang of Four in his own remarks.
“Andy Gill was one of a handful of artists in history who changed the way guitars are played,” said Morello. “His band Gang of Four were just incendiary and completely groundbreaking with Andy’s confrontational, unnerving and sublime playing at the forefront. His jagged plague-disco raptor-attack industrial-funk deconstructed guitar anti-hero sonics and fierce poetic radical intellect were hugely influential to me.”
Tankian added his own statement, speaking just as highly of Gill and of Morello.
“It was a real pleasure to work on this track with Tom and honor the legacy of Andy and Gang of Four at the same time,” said Tankian.
‘Natural’s Not In It’ is featured in Gang of Four’s 1979 debut album Entertainment!Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the album “the fifth best punk album of all time.” It is also featured in the soundtrack to the 2006 movie Marie Antoinette.
Prior to his passing last year, Gill had envisioned the new compilation record as a celebration marking 40 years since the release of Entertainment! Following his death, that changed, and artists instead opted to lay out the compilation’s body with works that represented much more of Gang of Four’s catalog, according to Mayer.
Mayer said in her comments, that Gill approved of the changes.
“Andy was massively excited about this project,”said Mayer. “It wasn’t of course conceived as a tribute album, but it’s comforting to me that he lived to see artists he hugely admired enthusiastically agreeing to participate, signaling that the admiration was mutual.”
The full track listing for The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four is expected for reveal on Jan. 14.
More information on the compilation is available along with all of Gang of Four’s latest news at:
The Pretty Reckless has enlisted the aid of Tom Morello for its latest single.
The band partnered with the guitarist, who is known for his work with Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage, for its new single ‘And So It Went.’ The song is the fourth single from the band’s forthcoming album Death by Rock and Roll, which is scheduled for release Feb. 12 through Fearless Records.
The band debuted the album’s third single ‘25‘ and its video Dec. 18. It debuted the video for the album’s second single ‘Broomsticks‘ Oct. 22. The lead single/title track saw its premiere last June.
Album pre-orders are open. The album’s track listing is noted below.
DEATH BY ROCK AND ROLL TRACK LISTING: “Death By Rock And Roll” “Only Love Can Save Me Now” “And So It Went” “25” “My Bones” “Got So High” “Broomsticks” “Witches Burn” “Standing At The Wall” “Turning Gold” “Rock And Roll Heaven” “Harley Darling”
The musical arrangement featured in The Pretty Reckless’ new single is a driving, up-tempo composition. Morello’s work on the song gives it an infectious blues-rock influence while also incorporating his trademark effects for even more impact. The use of the children’s chorus as the song progresses conjures thoughts of Pink Floyd’s timeless, socially conscious song ‘Another Brick in the Wall.’
Speaking of social consciousness, front woman Taylor Momsen noted in a recent interview, the song’s lyrical content is its own social commentary.
“The world has been in such a state of civil unrest,” said Momsen. “‘And So It Went’ basically comes from that vision. As a songwriter, I feel like I’m not here to preach. I use music to observe and communicate what I see around me. This song felt like the perfect storm for Tom Morello to join in and rip the sound waves apart with his guitar. It was more than a pleasure having him add his unique and defining sound to the song.”
More information on The Pretty Reckless’ new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
The Spear is a sharp new offering from international rap artist GNL Zamba. Released Nov. 11 through Baboon Forest Entertainment, the 11-song album is one of the most unique rap albums released so far this year. That is due in no small part to the album’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s featured musical arrangements adds its own share of interest to the 43-minute presentation. It will be discussed a little later. The sequencing of the record’s content rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. All three items noted here are important in their own way to the whole of The Spear. All things considered, they make the album a presentation that deserves its own share of attention among rap and hip-hop audiences as well as World Music fans.
Rapper GNL Zamba’s new album The Spear is a presentation that any rap fan will agree is worth hearing at least once if not more. That is due in no small part to the album’s musical arrangements. The arrangements in question cross a wide range of styles. The album opens with an arrangement in ‘Afrika,’ ‘’Zim Zim Bombo,’ and ‘Who Got The Power’ that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Skindred and Rage Against the Machine. ‘Black Caesar,’ which immediately follows, is sort of like a Fort Minor style arrangement that offers audiences something of a nu-metal rap/rock approach. Also featured throughout the course of the 43-minute record is a song in ‘No Borders’ that presents some very infectious African-infused jazz. As if that is not enough, ‘Zamba The Great’ is a full-on modern rap style presentation, showing even more, the diversity in the record’s musical arrangements. ‘Wake The F*** Up,’ another of the album’s entries, even offers some EDM style influence. Between everything noted here and the other arrangements audiences get a lot to like about GNL Zamba’s new record at least in regards to its musical content. Its musical content is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements adds its own touch to the presentation.
The lyrical content that is presented throughout The Spear is sure to generate its own share of interest among audiences. It features a lot of socially conscious content. the album’s opener, ‘Afrika’ is itself a commentary about people needing to take price in their roots inn Africa. The mentions of the great pharaohs, queens, and peoples of Africa across its many nations make that clear. As fast as GNL Zamba raps, it can be heard at one point that he makes mention of his mother and grandmother telling him about the legacy of Africa. ‘Who Got The Power,’ on another note, is a call to unity, urging people to come together and stand up to those in power. ‘No Borders,’ on yet another note, is its own unique call for unity. Audiences hear the statement here, “I imagine a world with no borders/One love/One world/No borders.” It is a statement about bringing the world together among all the separation that is out there. This is a statement that many listeners will find welcome. It is just one more way in which the record’s lyrical content proves its importance to the whole of this album’s presentation. On yet another level, GNL Zamba noted in a prepared statement, that the lyrical content featured in the album actually follows one central theme.
“People are waking up to something,” said GNL Zamba.“People are longing for more connection, more love, equality and wisdom. Many are realizing now that what you actually need is thriving relationships and community to stay functionally sane. We’re asking: Are we just tools for data mining, or where is this all going? We’re seeking a level of consciousness that improves us as human beings. It’s time to go back to where it all began.”
“This is the soundtrack to a human revolution, coming back full circle after completing the first journey of physical evolution to now start the elevation to a spiritual one!” added GNL Zamba …”This Universal Pan African album is inspired by the urgent need to remind the people of the world about what we have in common, an origin of the human race in Africa. Among so much divisions on basis of race, colorism and worship it is imperative to draw from the spiritual wisdom understood by ancient African societies; by looking at the past we predict the future. The oneness of “Obuntu” (The Human spirit).”
Everything noted here rings true with the songs addressed. They all have that central theme of unity, just in their own unique way. Keeping all of this in mind, there is no doubt as to the importance of this album’s lyrical content, both by itself and together with the album’s musical arrangements. Even with all of that in mind, it is still not all that is worth examining in this album. The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.
The Spear starts off strong in ‘Afrika’ with the aforementioned rap-rock arrangement that so conjures thoughts of Skindred and Rage Against the Machine. While ‘Black Caesar,’ the album’s next song, changes stylistic approach, the song’s energy maintains the energy established in the album’s opener. The album’s energy does not even begin to pull back until roughly halfway through its run in the ironically titled ‘Energy’ whose own energy is far relaxed in comparison to its predecessors. The record’s energy slightly picks back up immediately after in ‘Sweet Uganda (Star Taffa).’ Things start to pick back up even more in ‘Wake The F*** Up’ and continues on through ‘Who Got The Power’ before pulling back again in ‘Zamba The Great.’ That song gives listeners a familiar modern hip-hop vibe, so its energy is not too reserved. As a matter of fact GNL Zamba’s speed rapping is reminiscent of that of Eminem and certain other rappers. The album goes on just as strongly as it opened in ‘Zim Zim Bombo’ with its heavy rap-rock style arrangement. It may not be fast, but its heaviness closes out the album with noted same strong musical punch with which the album opened. Looking back through the record, it can be said of its sequencing that it ensures the album does not get too monotonous at any point. The stylistic approaches and their related energies change up just enough throughout to keep things interesting for listeners. When this is considered along with the album’s overall content, the record in whole proves itself to be a successful offering that could make GNL Zamba one of the next big names in the rap and rock communities.
GNL Zamba’s latest album The Spear is a positive new offering from the veteran rapper who calls America and Africa home. His album offers listeners musical arrangements that will appeal to fans of acts, such as Hyro The Hero, Rage Against The Machine, Fort Minor, Eminem, and even Skindred. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements follows one central theme of unity while in itself giving listeners something different with each song. The sequencing of all of this content rounds out the most important of the album’s elements. It brings everything full circle, ensuring the album never gets boring. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of The Spear. All things considered, they make the album one “sharp” new record. The Spear is available now.
More information on The Spear is available along with all of GNL Zamba’s latest news at:
The members of Killswitch Engage received some positive news this week. The band received a Grammy® Award nomination for “Best Metal Performance” for its single ‘Unleashed,’ which is featured in the band’s latest full-length studio recording Atonement. The album, the band’s eighth overall album and first for Metal Blade Records, was released Aug. 16. The band is in the midst of a tour in support of Atonement, which will see the band perform at the Ritz in Raleigh, NC on March 15. It is just one of the performances included in the band’s current tour schedule, during which audiences will get to hear ‘Unleashed’ and many other songs from the recently released 11-song album. The nomination for ‘Unleashed’ is justified, as it is just one of the songs that puts the album’s overall strength on display. ‘Know Your Enemy’ also serves to show the strength of KsE’s latest studio recording. The same can also be said of ‘The Crownless King,’ which comes early in the album’s 39-minute run time. Each of the songs noted here plays its own crucial part in exhibiting the overall strength of Atonement. When they are considered with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album proves the record to be an offering from KsE that holds its own with its fellow metalcore counterparts this year.
Metalcore outfit Killswitch Engage’s latest album Atonement is a record that will easily appeal to fans of the band and the genre in whole. That is because both musically and lyrically, it is everything that audiences have come to expect from the Boston, MA-based band. The album’s Grammy® Award-nominated single – and album opener – ‘Unleashed’ is just one of the songs that supports the noted statements. The song’s musical arrangement plays its own part in showing why the song has proven so worthy of an award. The fire and the energy in the heavy, guitar and bass-driven work wastes little time grabbing listeners’ attention as it builds quickly in its opening crescendo into its steady, familiar metalcore sound with measured guitars and steady time keeping. That full-on approach in the song’s arrangement couples well with the song’s lyrical content to accent the emotion in said content.
The song’s lyrical content is just as fiery as its musical content, with front man Jesse Leach sings/screams in the song’s lead verse, “Deceive me/Release me/Unleash me/You’ve unleashed the wild within/Welcome to the madness/That dwells inside these eyes/Pushed unto the breaking point/You’re running out of time/This innocent blood is on your hands (Deceive me)/Come face to face with the final stand (Release me)/It’s the part of me you can’t comprehend (Unleash me)/You’ve unleashed the wild within/The wild within.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “You who spoke defiance/You who spoke in jest/The last of all my tolerance/Has left this broken man.” He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “I remind you time and time again/You’ve broken the restraints against your heart/Against the dark/Can you feel the pain of those you’ve betrayed/The promises unmade/Broken hearts that fill with shame/And you’re to blame/Do they call your name?/There’s nothing left to say/Nothing left to say.” There is little doubt here as to the focus of the song’s lyrical content considering all of this. This is pure defiance against someone who has brought out the worst in someone else because that antagonist simply would not let up in their wrongdoing. As Leach notes in the second verse, “The last of all my tolerance/Has left this broken man.” This is someone who has put up with the noted wrongdoing for far too long and is saying to the antagonist, “no more.” This is a situation to which so many listeners can relate. Everyone has been in this point where they want to explode and say the same to certain people in their own lives. By having this song to which they can relate, the composition will hopefully help listeners who have been or are in that situation so that they can release their own frustrations. Considering the power in the song’s musical and lyrical content, it is clear why this song earned KsE a Grammy® Award nomination. It is just one of the songs featured in this record that shows the album’s strength. ‘Know Your Enemy’ also serves to who what makes the album appealing for audiences.
‘Know Your Enemy’ should not be confused with Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Know Your Enemy.’ The two songs are their own unique works. KsE did not cover RATM’s work here. However, it is definitely as defiant as RATM’s work in its lyrical content, which will be addressed momentarily. The song’s musical arrangement forms its foundation. This driving, upbeat work boasts its own identity unique from the rest of the album’s compositions, this time featuring a steady, driving guitar line instead of the djent style work of the album’s opener. Rather, this arrangement boasts more of a melodic metal sort of approach. That steady, driving arrangement forms a solid foundation for the song, with the noted lyrical content adding even more to the whole.
Leach sings/screams in the song’s lead verse, “Bow down to no one/resist the system/Lost in uncertainty/Divided in our strife/No comprehension of the conflict of our lives/become enslaved in a technological haze/In the crosshairs of a weapon/That dissuades our brains/The target is in site/Mental imprisonment/They’ll take you down from the inside (inside)/Self-destruction on command.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Resist – And fight back/Our minds – Under attack/Destroy – Their authority/And know your enemy/Protest – Demonstrate/We must – Retaliate/Bow down – To no one/An know your enemy.” The song continues on in the same fashion as it progresses, with Leach even noting late in the song, “It runs much deeper than you think/You’ll never see who pulls the strings/You’ve got to know/Know your enemy/Force fed illusions/in this world of confusion/You have to know/Know your enemy.” There is no doubt this is a sociopolitical commentary from the band that is urging people to be aware of everything going on and to (pardon the term) take the power back.. It definitely does not and will not fall on deaf ears, either. It is just one more way in which Atonement proves to be another positive offering from KsE.
‘Unleashed’ and ‘Know Your Enemy’ are both key additions to Atonement. Each song is distinct from the other both musically and lyrically, giving listeners collectively plenty to appreciate. While they go a long way to show why Atonement will appeal to the aforementioned audiences, they are just a sample of the album’s positives. ‘The Crownless King’ is another example of what makes this record another work that will appeal to the band’s fans and to metalcore fans alike. ‘The Crownless King’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement, which boasts another familiar sound from the band. There is a certain old school thrash sound coupled with the band’s own metalcore sound and the mix of Leach’s growls and clean vocals to make the whole of the song one of the album’s most notable works.
The song’s musical arrangement goes a long way to make the song stand out among Atonement’s overall body of work. It is just one important part of the song, though. The song’s lyrical content is just as important as its musical content. The song’s lyrical content comes across as another sociopolitical commentary, this time perhaps very intentionally directed. Leach sings in the song’s lead verse, “Abolition to this illusion/And all the monuments of hypocrisy/Burn them – Burn them to the ground/Destroy them – They’re useless to us now/Tear down the reminders of a crownless king/this imposter claims authority/Indignation is closing in/You choose a war/A war you cannot win/No one – No one can save you now/Cast down – Where no mercy can be found/No willingness to bow to a king without a crown/Where the virtuous can’t be found/Defy you – To the depths you descend/I defy you – To the death we defend/Defy you – Your rule will come to an end/I defy you – You’ve become the crownless king.” If this is not a song focused on everything going on in Washington, D.C. then it would certainly be interesting to learn of the real focus here. The song’s second and third verses add even more strength to the argument that this song is focused on the happenings in Washington, D.C., with Leach singing in the song’s second verse, “The penitent pray for the downfall of your/Of your reign/The warrior soul shall break the hold of constraints/In the end you will suffer.” He adds in verse three, “the storied confusion/Distorted and diluted/Will come undone when the balance shifts/And the framework breaks/The framework breaks.” Once again, this certainly seems to be addressing the presidency of one Donald trump and what has happened as a result of his false presidency. If in fact that is truly the focus of the song’s lyrical content, then it has been delivered in a unique fashion. To that end, the combination of such strong lyrical content and equally strong musical content makes this song yet another important addition to Atonement. When it is considered alongside the other songs discussed here, the whole of those songs and the rest of the album’s works makes Atonement in whole, yet another work that will appeal tto fans of Killswitch Engage and to fans of the metalcore genre.
Killswitch Engage’s latest full-length studio recording Atonement is another positive offering from the veteran metalcore band. It is everything that audiences have come to expect from the group both musically and lyrically. That is evidenced through all three of the songs discussed here and the eight other songs that make up the remainder of the album’s body. The thoughtful lyrics and pummeling musical content combines from start to end to make the album in whole a work that holds its own in this year’s fild of new hard rock and metal albums. More information on Atonement is available online now along with all of the band’s tour information at:
Rage Against The Machine is back again…sort of. Tom Morello, Tim Cummerford and Brad Wilk joined forces with longtime friends B-Real (Cypress Hill) and Chuck D (Public Enemy) some time ago following the dissolution of Audioslave to form the super group Prophets of Rage, which is for all intents and purposes Rage Against The Machine 2.0. The only real difference between this “new” group and RATM—as is clear in listening to the group’s brand new self-titled debut album, is the fact that Morello, Wilk and Cummerford are joined this time out by the aforementioned superstar hip-hop front men. Musically and lyrically speaking, the fruits of the group’s efforts make this 12-song album everything that Rage Against The Machine fans have come to expect from that band. Even with that in mind, that return to musical and lyrical form makes this record a welcome effort from the second coming of Rage Against The Machine.
Prophets of Rage’s brand new self-titled debut album is a welcome effort from what is for all intents and purposes the second coming of Rage Against The Machine. That is due in part to the musical arrangements presented throughout the course of the album’s 12-song, 39-minute run time. From start to finish, listeners get here 12 arrangements that are a full return to form for Morello and his RATM band mates—Brad Wilk (drums) and Brad Cummerford (bass). Morello’s heavy riffs and guitar-based special sound effects lift from all three of RATM’s full-length studio efforts and even from the trio’s work under the Audioslave moniker. That balance of sounds throughout this record makes it enjoyable enough even despite the arrangements not exactly being anything groundbreaking. Keeping this in mind, the album’s collective arrangements are collectively just one of the album’s elements to examine. Its lyrical content is just as important to note here as those arrangements.
The lyrical content presented throughout Prophets of Rage is important to note here because it is just as familiar to RATM fans as the album’s musical arrangements. What is important to note here is that while being as socially conscious as the lyrics in RATM’s previous albums, the topics tackled here are timely. They do not just rehash the topics taken on in those records. Case in point is the album’s opener ‘Radical Eyes.’ This song clearly takes on the misconception that just because someone might read one religious book or another that said person has become radicalized. It is a response, basically, to the close mindedness that so many people have primarily against the Muslim community in this nation. Its follow-up, ‘Unf*** the World’ stays on a similar mindset as it takes on the issue of racism that is still so alive in America. The group also takes on the issue of poverty in America and the struggle to fight the issue due to politicians who seemingly don’t care to fight that battle in ‘Living on the 110.’ The group even takes on the issue of personal privacy invasion of sorts in ‘Take Me Higher,’ which addresses law enforcement’s use (and possible misuse) of drones in their daily duties. The group even goes so far as to address the tensions between police and the people that have risen in recent years over allegations of police brutality in ‘Hands Up.’ This is all just a glance at the way in which Prophets of Rage manages lyrically to impress listeners with its timely lyrical content. The other songs not noted here all present lyrical content that is just as timely as the material noted here. Keeping all of this in mind, the lyrical content presented throughout this record proves to be POR’s cornerstone. It is just one more of the album’s most important elements, too. The album’s sequencing puts the final touch to its overall presentation.
Plenty of time and thought was obviously put into Prophets of Rage’s sequencing. From start to finish, the album never lets its fire burn out. Even as the group gets a bit funky in ‘Take Me Higher,’ it still doesn’t let up in its energy. The up-tempo arrangement is instantly infectious thanks to all involved, ensuring listeners’ engagement just as much as the album’s much heavier arrangements. Much the same can be said of ‘Counteroffensive,’ the 38-second interlude which lifts more from Public Enemy and Cypress Hill than RATM. Even as short as it is and stylistically separate from its counterparts, its arrangement still is entertaining. Its placement almost halfway through the record is just as smart, as it gives listeners a short break and some variance to the record in whole. Considering this, the energies exhibited in each song and the fact that no one song directly repeats the other (in regards to their arrangements), it becomes even clearer why the album’s sequencing is so important to the album’s whole. The energies never vary even as the familiar arrangements do vary. When this is considered along with the arrangements themselves and the album’s timely lyrical content, the end result is an album that proves to be a solid first effort from Prophets of Rage and an equally solid new effort from what is for all intents and purposes Rage Against The Machine 2.0. More information on Prophets of Rage is available now along with Prophets of Rage’s latest news and more at:
This week marks the last full week of 2015. It’s a little tough to grasp that there are only eleven days left in the year. But it’s almost time to bid a fond farewell to this year. And even as the year’s final days tick away, there is still plenty of work left to do in turns of examining the top titles from the entertainment world. Phil’s Picks has already done quite a bit of that, delving into the top titles of the music world’s top titles. There’s still some ground to cover in that realm while beginning to transfer over into the year’s top new DVDs and Blu-rays in each of their different own areas. Keeping that in mind, what better way to start making that transfer than to look today at the year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays. The year’s best new live CDs have already been tackled. And as previously explained, in many cases, some DVDs and Blu-rays are actually released separate from their audio-only counterparts even today, and vice versa. That justifies a separate category for the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays. That being the case, here, for your reading pleasure dear readers, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays. As always, the Top 10 titles make up the main body of the list while the bottom five are no less important. They each receive honorable mention for a total of fifteen titles. Enough rambling. Here, again, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays.
PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDS AND BLU-RAYS
SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS – LIVE AT THE ROXY 09.25.14
TESSERACT – SCALA
AEROSMITH – AEROSMITH ROCKS DONINGTON
GEORGE STRAIT – THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY
THE WHO – LIVE AT HYDE PARK
SHANIA TWAIN – STILL THE ONE: LIVE IN VEGAS
ERIC CLAPTON – SLOWHAND AT 70: LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
THE ROLLING STONES – LIVE IN LEEDS 1982
THE ROLLING STONES – LIVE AT THE TOKYO DOME 1990
LYNYRD SKYNYRD – PRONOUNCED L LEH-NERD SKIN-NERD & SECOND HELPING
PAT METHENY – UNITY SESSIONS
WHITECHAPEL – BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE
TASTE – WHAT’S GOING ON: LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT